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Play:1 (One) speakers with support for SHORTER POWER CORDS and/or PoE

  • 21 November 2018
  • 10 replies
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I have two (2) Play:1 speakers eetup in a stereo pair in my living room. I am considering buying another pair to use outside under the roof of our overhang and/or cabana (where we will have a TV). Both overhang and cabana are under construction. I thought of adding electrical outlet in different locations to support the Play:1 speakers... so will do this. But there are some other thoughts...

1. Long power cable comes with the Play:1 speakers... would be great if shorter version included with each Play:1 to support close proximity receptacle. That way, don't have lengthy power cord wrapped/looped around (subject to EM noise/interference, impacting sound experience) and it is easier/cleaner to install.

Another thought...

2. Instead of power outlet, I could install CAT5/6 Ethernet cable (within or on it own) to support BOTH a wired LAN connecton (perhaps a Wifi extended or local access point/switch... which I happen to have) AND PoE (Power over Ethernet) where DC could be provided to Play:1 speaker. This would required special adapter to break power our of PoE ethernet cable at Play:1 speaker... as well as speaker to inject power onto ethernet cable at source (local to ethernet AP/switch/extender) ... again making a clean/simple installation. This would require changing power setup on Play:1 as currently it accepts 110V AC (or 220V Europe etc) instead of DC... perhaps a separate port and sensing circuit internally could detect.

Happy to BETA TEST either of these above Feature Requests/Product Enhancements! I actually already have a PoE switch and other WifI APs that use same for similar setups.

Great ideas? Your thoughts?

Grant Leclerc
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Best answer by AjTrek1 21 November 2018, 07:02

Hi GrantPL

I'll keep this as short as possible. I'm not a Sonos product architect. Therefore, my comments do not represent anything having to do with Sonos design, engineering and/or implementation.

You can type “Short Power Cable for Play 1” in your browser and you’ll get a plethora of hits. Here’s one example: https://www.worldwidestereo.com/products/flexson-short-power-cable-for-play-1-sonos-speakers

As for PoE...while a novel idea IMO it is better used in an enterprise/business environment. Sonos is designed to fit into an environment with normal power requirements for the average user (home and/or business). Changing and/or adding an additional power application would most certainly drive the price of Sonos beyond the reach of many. Let’s be honest…Sonos isn’t exactly a bargain basement investment.

From a technical aspect…the Mary Jo’s and John Boy’s of the world outnumber us geeks by almost an infinite number. I’ll admit the Mary Jo’s and John Boy’s of the world are a lot more tech-savvy today than 5 years ago; but not to the point (IMO) where they are networking guru’s. Neither am I for that matter. :8

Have you seen the number of posts in this forum where people still can’t understand the difference between a Wi-Fi (Standard) setup and Boost mode. Think what would happen if they had to deal with powering their Sonos via Ethernet. Question..."How do I plug this funny looking cable into the wall outlet"?

Going further into tech…consumer based routers are typically not PoE Injector equipped. So not only are we changing the way Sonos works by adding PoE; but also the type of router and/or secondary hardware (switch) the end user must have and understand it’s application.

So in conclusion...YOU did some great thinking outside of the box_kudo's. However, I don't believe PoE is a practical option (JMO). Then again Sonos is always coming up with ways to make their products better and cutting edge...so who know's...PoE may be on the drawing board :?

Cheers!
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Hi GrantPL

I'll keep this as short as possible. I'm not a Sonos product architect. Therefore, my comments do not represent anything having to do with Sonos design, engineering and/or implementation.

You can type “Short Power Cable for Play 1” in your browser and you’ll get a plethora of hits. Here’s one example: https://www.worldwidestereo.com/products/flexson-short-power-cable-for-play-1-sonos-speakers

As for PoE...while a novel idea IMO it is better used in an enterprise/business environment. Sonos is designed to fit into an environment with normal power requirements for the average user (home and/or business). Changing and/or adding an additional power application would most certainly drive the price of Sonos beyond the reach of many. Let’s be honest…Sonos isn’t exactly a bargain basement investment.

From a technical aspect…the Mary Jo’s and John Boy’s of the world outnumber us geeks by almost an infinite number. I’ll admit the Mary Jo’s and John Boy’s of the world are a lot more tech-savvy today than 5 years ago; but not to the point (IMO) where they are networking guru’s. Neither am I for that matter. :8

Have you seen the number of posts in this forum where people still can’t understand the difference between a Wi-Fi (Standard) setup and Boost mode. Think what would happen if they had to deal with powering their Sonos via Ethernet. Question..."How do I plug this funny looking cable into the wall outlet"?

Going further into tech…consumer based routers are typically not PoE Injector equipped. So not only are we changing the way Sonos works by adding PoE; but also the type of router and/or secondary hardware (switch) the end user must have and understand it’s application.

So in conclusion...YOU did some great thinking outside of the box_kudo's. However, I don't believe PoE is a practical option (JMO). Then again Sonos is always coming up with ways to make their products better and cutting edge...so who know's...PoE may be on the drawing board :?

Cheers!
PoE won’t supply enough power for even a Sonos One, much less a Play:5. 😃
Another option would be to replace the current longer power cord with a version that has a shorter version with and connector to connect to extension... then user can choose length of power cable they need depending on application.

In terms of PoE support and power requirements, as noted there may be issues w current draw (heat) on traditional Ethernet cable. That’s not to say that low power version of speaker may not be doable in time.
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Honestly, I think you're making this more complicated then it needs to be, and coming up with a setup that is less flexible than what people typically do in this scenario.

The Play:1s were not designed for outdoor use. They are resistant to an extent, but will not holdup nearly as well as passive speakers designed for outdoor use will. The play:1s do not have the capability to work with your TV. The have no inputs at all.

Why not consider a Sonos :Amp instead? The Amp can power whatever passive speaker you want to use (although upcoming Sonace speakers will be Trueplay compatible). You can place the amp inside, where it's fully protected, or place in a more protective box if you prefer. It has HDMI-ARC to work with your TV, so you'll be able to use your speakers for music and TV audio. For TV audio, a phantom channel is created. You will not need to worry about cord lengths as speaker wire is easily trimmed. The Amp is airplay compatible, so you have that added feature. The amp is strong enough to power a second set of speakers if you ever desire that.

It's your choice, and what I'm suggesting costs significantly more money, but I think it will bring a lot more satisfaction with the setup.


As for the POE topic, most people don't really know what POE is, so I don't see it as a big selling feature. As well, it's rare for there to be locations in the home where a power outlet is not available, but Ethernet is...especially as the world goes more and more wireless. And of course, less power would probably mean lower performance. However, people have been asking for a battery powered sonos speaker for some time now, which would also be a lower powered speaker. Perhaps such a speaker would have multiple charging adapters, one that brings in power from an outlet, and one that brings in POE. Again though, hard to imagine there is enough interest in that.
Here is a discussion of PoE. Note that there is a recent update to the standard that has the potential of delivering more power to devices. I am not aware of any devices that currently support the new higher power mode, but I'm sure that they will arrive soon. One motivation for the higher power delivery is the possibility of supporting large displays. This would be great for home owners who want to install large screen TV's. It is a lot easier to run CAT-6 to the TV than traditional power wiring. Unfortunately, current power requirements for TV's is typically just beyond the PoE limit. It would be possible to split the video processing into a separate box, minimizing the power required by the dumb display. Two box "TV's" are not popular with the public because they seem to involve more "clutter".

Being very optimistic with respect to amplifier efficiency, the original PoE power delivery spec might support a 10W audio amplifier. If one measures the actual power being used in a typical home living room, 10W is generous, however, the usual rule of thumb is that the peak to average ratio is 100:1. Regardless, it would be hard to convince the lay public (and most who promote themselves as "audiophiles") that 10W could be a high quality device. With nearly 100W available for the newer PoE spec's, a 50W (or so) amplifier might be possible and be accepted as being "Quality" by the public. However, this will not be "plug and play" for most people because the high power PoE devices are not likely to be widely available for a while, if ever. The higher power routers and switches will likely include a noisy fan. I have a PoE+ network switch in my setup and that fan is VERY annoying when it switches ON. And, at least for a while, the PoE situation will be viewed as "complicated" because the users will need to be aware of which PoE spec their network device supports.
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Hey Buzz, part of the issue with normal power is that in-wall power cabling requires thicker shielding, and typically need to be installed by a licensed electrician. If CAT-6 is now delivering more power, does it stand to make sense that codes would be updating to require thicker shielding for these cables as well, sort of eliminating the advantage of POE vs normal power cables?

Even if there is no technical reason for thicker shielding, I can see this ending up in code requirements, just because there is a lot of money wrapped up in maintaining the status quo. Maybe not, I'm not sure. I have notice though that new homes are moving away from wiring Ethernet in the home, to lower costs. People aren't using wired phone lines anymore, and use wireless for internet access. Not good in my opinion, but it is what it is.
melvimbe,

I don't think that there will be any building code issues associated with revised PoE standards. That said, building codes are being revised in some areas of the US that require network wiring installers to have an electrician's license. I think that this is a pure money grab by the electricians and most electricians do a poor job on network installs. Electrical codes were originally conceived to eliminate the fire and shock hazards associated with the haphazard wiring common early in the 20th century. "Low voltage" (phones, doorbells, and such -- computers and TV did not yet exist) wiring was not subject to any standards because it was considered to be "safe" with respect to shock and fire. In the 1970's there was a revision to the US building codes that requires specific insulation to be used for low voltage wires that are buried inside of walls.

Here is an example of what codes attempt to prevent. While we would like to think that this mess is from early 1900's wiring (predating the codes), note the modern lamp in the middle of this mess.
TBH I just cut the cable to the correct length and add the appropriate rated connector, I don't see how SONOS can cater for every situation a user might have. If you are not competent to do this then pay someone who is.
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TBH I just cut the cable to the correct length and add the appropriate rated connector, I don't see how SONOS can cater for every situation a user might have. If you are not competent to do this then pay someone who is.

I agree that Sonos can't react to every situation a user may have just for the sake of convenience. Yours is also a great solution for those that are as competent as you. However, some specialty items such as short power cables for mounting speakers on a wall are a great idea. Also cutting a cable as you did on a new speaker I guess is OK; if you don't mine voiding the warranty. If out of warranty it may not matter. I believe the insert supports my premise. Read more at the link. Cheers!




https://www.sonos.com/en-us/legal/terms?#return-policy
In the past, I've purchased Flexson extensions, and then cut them and attached plugs to them, so that I could keep my original length Sonos supplied cables, as a precaution. If I remember (and I don't have these speakers anymore), the length I ended up with was about 6 to 8 inches....just enough to get from the speaker I'd hung near the ceiling to a wall socket I'd had an electrician install. Worked pretty well, other than needing to be pretty careful with the wiring inside the plug I attached. As I recall, it was twisted copper, and I needed to make sure that the two wires that I was screwing down didn't have a stray that touched the other side.

But as AjTrek1 says, there are some who aren't comfortable in doing this kind of thing, and there's no shame in that. You could easily take the parts to an electrician who could do that work for you in about 5 minutes, as long as you knew how long you wanted the cable. The key thing is keeping that special shape connector that goes into the speaker on the end....it's the plug to the wall end that can be shortened. 🙂

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